When did you last purchase something that was not in a package? How did the design, graphics, or functional properties of the package influence your buying decision? Did you consider the origin and cost of the packaging materials or where the packaging would end up?
Sustainability is more than a slogan; ignore it and something important will be in short supply. The paper industry has much to be proud of; its wood and plant-based fiber solutions are some of the most sustainable and ecologically responsible. We have innovative ways to impart a wide variety of functional and barrier properties to an array of paperboard grades and paper-based flexible packaging – but not without consequences.
Plastics are robust and versatile. Formed into packaging or combined with paper or board, plastics are wonderful. Unfortunately, some of the very properties that make plastics so wonderful are creating problems in the environment. Thus, we are developing barrier technologies from sustainable, raw materials that deliver the required performance while being significantly more recyclable, re-pulpable, and compostable than polyethylene (PE), polylactic acid (PLA), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), paraffin wax, and perfluorocarbon (PFC).
We are utilizing vegetable oils and unique micro-encapsulation technology to create more sustainable barrier systems. We will briefly introduce our novel technology and present a case for its application in cup stock board and in paper-based flexible packaging. In each case, we will discuss how we achieve functional requirements, the economic benefit, and recyclability, re-pulpability and compostability, as applicable.